Bullying Prevention & Awareness
Bullying most often will occur when a student asserts physical or psychological power over, or is cruel to, another student perceived to be weaker than they are for an ongoing period of time.
Bullying revolves around the basic premise that there is some imbalance of power between the aggressor and the victim. This can be either physical or psychological in nature. Therefore, conflicts and arguments that develop between friends or students of comparable social and physical standing do not fall in the arena of bullying. These situations need to be mediated and are met with consequences in accordance with the School Handbook, but they are typically not considered bullying-related incidents
Types of Bullying
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
There are three types of bullying:
- Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
- Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
- Making mean or rude hand gestures
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Cyberbullying is different because kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior.
- Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
- Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Resources for Parents
A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. It has resources to prevent bullying at different environments, as well as how to respond to bullying.
Common Sense Media
An organization led by concerned parents and individuals with experience in child advocacy, public policy, education, media, and entertainment.
Resources for Kids and Teens
Resources for Parents
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/pdfs/k-5-familytip-cyberbullying.pdf (for elementary school K-5)
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/pdfs/6-12-familytip-cyberbullying.pdf (for middle school and high school)
Illinois State Board of Education Bullying Resources
National Education Association’s bully free resources and tool kits
Advice for parents and adults dealing with bullying
Tips for parents on dealing with the problem of bullying between girls
Minnesota Parent Training and Information Center funded by U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs
Online Safety for Children and Teens: A Comprehensive Guide to Staying Safe Online